Italy’s Dolce Visa
The number of applications for the Italian Investor Visa or La Dolce Visa jumped from just 11 in 2020 to 40 in 2021 – an unexpected increase of almost 300% in just one year. The reason behind this sudden rise in popularity is the new friendly amendments that have been made to this program. Primarily, the most significant change is the reduction of the investment amount. The new requirements for investment have been halved, amounting to EUR 500,000 (INR 4.25 crores) and EUR 250,000 (INR 2.12 crores) for ordinary business and innovative startup investment categories, respectively.
Another critical change that sparked the applicants’ interest is doing away with the residency requirements. Until December 2020, the investor visa holders were obliged to be physically present in Italy for at least half of the duration of the visa. But this rule came as a disadvantage to this visa in the market of all other EU Golden Visas. While other residency permits for Italy still have this rule, the La Dolce Visa applicants are exempted. As a significant move, the minimum physical day count has been reduced to zero for the beneficiaries.
A similar change that was incorporated from December 2020 is that the applicants of an Italian Investor visa can qualify by investing in their companies rather than as private individuals. This encouraged the applicants to less personal financial risk and improved tax implications.
You can participate in the Italian Investor Visa program by investing in one of the four ways as mentioned below –
- EUR 2 million (INR 17 crores) in Italian Government Bonds
- EUR 500,000 (INR 4.25 crores) in Italian shares, effectively in a company that is owned by you or whose equity you own.
- EUR 250,000 (INR 1.12 crores) in innovative startups
- EUR 1 million (INR 8.5 crores) donation to projects of public interest in Italy
An interesting fact that has come up after the new changes made to the visa requirements is that out of 64 applications received, 43 have chosen to invest in Italian joint-stock companies. Even if the investment amount is double what they would need for innovative startups, the investors are willing to reduce the risk.
The removal of physical residency requirements and immense relaxation in investment amount has entitled this visa to be the Golden visa in actual nature. There is another visa option for people who wish to stay in Italy. They do not have to make any investments; instead, they need to show moderate annual income and remain for at least 183 days in Italy every year under Italy’s Elective Residency program.